Employee Stories: May 11, 2018
Fuelling Motherhood
By: Fuel Transport

“It’s kind of like waking up in a household, as a parent,” laughs Fuel Logistic Accounts Specialist Jessica Lanni, describing the beginning of her day at Fuel. “You know that every morning you’re going to have to tell your kids to get dressed and brush their teeth and have breakfast. But you don’t know how it’s going to turn out that day.”

Of course, she’s talking about the constant back and forth of logistics minutiae. Her day starts with checking her board and her loads and then beginning to make booking calls, starting with carriers she has relationships with.

“That’s basically 95% of my day,” Jessica says, “going back and forth with carriers I know and trying to make as many strategic decisions as possible, so that I can book as many things as possible in advance.”

Like being a mother, being a Logistics Accounts Specialist runs along fine most of the time. Jessica keeps moving, keeps her loads booked, keeps making calls, and making deals. But there are times when things don’t work the way she was hoping—for example, when she works hard to book a load just the way she wants it, and has it cancelled an hour before it was due to depart, leaving her to scramble to get it on the road and keep it on time.

“It’s the same thing with kids,” she says. “You’ve prepared them. They’re ready to go. They’re sitting on the couch. They’re waiting. You’re finishing everything up, you’re about to leave the house and you look at their shirts and they’ve dropped chocolate milk all over. And you’re like, are you for real right now?”

Jessica has learned most things from the ground up. She was already working as a body-piercer by the time she was in art school at John-Abbott College, when, at 17, she discovered she was pregnant. She stayed in school until a month before she was due, took a semester off, then returned to finish her program. she focused on making ends meet for her and her daughter Rylee, working as a manager at BCBG, Style Exchange and Little Burgundy.

“I grew up in business. My parents and grandparents owned businesses. I was always raised in that really business-like lifestyle, where you give 110% every day, and the next day you give more. And that’s what it is. I mean,” she laughs, “my grandfather’s 80 years old, he still works seven days a week!”

That’s the kind of drive that landed her at Fuel, after a friend told her it was a great place to work.

Jessica recalls, “I made my bosses really laugh when they interviewed me, so maybe that’s why I got the job?”

Her department, she says, is full of people passionate about what they do and ready to debate their positions about how to get things done efficiently. Most days everybody agrees, but on the rare occasions there’s a difference of opinion on the team about how to book a load best, debate can become heated.

“It’ll be an explosion,” she laughs affectionately. “And then 30 seconds later, it’ll be like, let’s get a coffee. I love who I’m with, I love what I do.”

Fuel feels like family to Jessica, who’s brought Rylee in for company family activities. She proudly notes that she was captain of one of the company’s soccer-baseball teams.

“And my team won. Obviously!” she laughs. “My daughter loves this place,” she says. “Everybody here. Because she walks in and everyone’s super excited. That’s what I love about this company. Your family is my family. My family is your family.”

It doesn’t hurt that Fuel’s headquarters is a fun place to be.

“How many places do you go to that has bean bags the size of a queen size mattress?” muses Jessica. “Or with TVs with PlayStation’s and all the newest games? And coffee 24/7. Always freshly made. Different teas— how many companies do you go to that you even get that? Let alone the parties that are thrown for us. They’re like, ‘Everybody come and it’s on us.’ We live like kings here.”

The Fuel team works hard every day, Jessica says, but she feels herself—and her family—appreciated.

“I can never see myself working anywhere else. It’s a beautiful place to be.”